A Conservative MP’s bid to resurrect a Bill giving store owners the right to use greater force against intruders looks set to be rebuffed by the government.

The Private Member’s Bill put forward by Conservative MP for the Vale of York, Anne McIntosh, is the third attempt to change the law in favour of the property-owner, but the first to include commercial as well as domestic premises. McIntosh, who decided to resurrect the Bill after a spate of burglaries in her constituency, commented: “The problem is that while defending your life is clear under law, defending your property is not.”

However, Home Office minister Fiona MacTaggart was quick to respond that the government would, as it had done previously, oppose any changes to the law. She said: “What is more likely to happen if these measures came into effect is that burglars would be more likely to come armed themselves and therefore put householders or shopkeepers at greater risk.”